Review: Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End (PS4)
Nate has returned to steal some treasure…again.
Sometimes, life just gets in the way. I began writing this review over a month ago I’m sure and to be truthful I’ve really not had a chance to come back and finish it. Apologies for that, I realise this is no longer a new release, but it’s still worthy of discussion, it left me with so many positive impressions that I couldn’t help but finish the review rather than abandon it. I hope you enjoy my slightly belated thoughts about this magnificent entry into a franchise I didn’t even realise I wanted more of.
After a long awaited departure, Nate has finally returned to give us one last action packed, explosive adventure and he certainly delivers beyond expectation. Prior to playing and completing the new Uncharted addition, I wasn’t particularly eager to delve back into the Naughty Dog’s most highly anticipated sequel. I believed my Uncharted days were over, and didn’t even realise I wanted more. That was until I got about half-way through Uncharted 4, which is really a marvel, and an absolute achievement that it looks and runs so well on the already ‘outdated’ PS4 (I say outdated since the news of the PS4K leads me to believe this may be the case). Of course, the same annoyances of the previous titles remain my largest gripe, but it’s really the narrative that pushes you forward here, such as is the case with most recent Naughty Dog endeavours. Once the story kicks in, you really won’t be able to stop playing, I’m fairly certain I was able to complete the game in two maybe three sittings at max, and for a substantially long game, it’s an achievement to draw my attention in for such a long amount of time.
The greatest achievement Uncharted has to offer is by far the visuals, they are simply stunning, I couldn’t believe what my PS4 was churning out, despite the emission of unusually loud fan noises coming from my unit. It’s clear that Naughty Dog have yet again managed to exceed my expectations, providing captivating and cleverly conceived environments. Although these environments are clearly linear with set routes to follow, they do a good job of concealing this, as you immerse yourself within the great story told within. My only concern in relation to Naughty Dog’s captivating narration and what remains it’s only let down in this regard comes with an unimaginative third act, which left me feeling slightly disappointed. Not that it had overstayed its welcome, it’s just with the gameplay never being enough of a drive to push me through the series, I’ve always expected a very high standard of story telling from Naughty Dog which lets itself down a little towards the end. Bearing this in mind, Uncharted 4 conveyed some of most spectacular moments I’ve seen in gaming for this generation and will undoubtedly make it into a lot of ‘lists’ for said reasons towards the end of the year.
I have to admit this, the first time I saw Sam (Nate’s brother) I sighed, my initial thoughts were ‘oh okay, why have I never heard his name before’, and his origins weren’t woven particularly cleverly into the material anyway. That being said, I did enjoy the interactions between the Drake brothers, they seemed to compliment each other in a way I didn’t expect, despite Naughty Dog’s apparent attempts at making me dislike both characters. I mean on a whole there is some really great character development here, I got a great sense as to how Nate had been occupying his time since retiring from his treasure hunting endeavours, and also how bored and stagnant he’d become, which aided me in understanding why Sam was introduced in the first place.
I’m going to wrap this up now. From a gamer to a gamer, I think Uncharted 4 is undoubtedly worthy of your time, it’s story alone is enough to keep everyone captivated and I’m still astonished as to how they managed to accomplish such visual prowess on the hardware squished inside the PS4. I’ve played every entry of the Uncharted series and I always considered them highly overrated, focusing primarily on spectacle to draw its audience in (not indifferent to most high concept cinema releases), whilst pushing gameplay aside. This still hasn’t changed all too much and maybe I’ve just simply learned to accept it, but I can’t deny that this might be the one game we could call a ‘system seller’ and I can’t urge you enough to play this ‘final’ Nate outing.